TRAVERSE CITY — By Carol South
Special to the Record-Eagle
The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation's mission is to make a difference and create legacies that matter.
Since its founding 20 years ago, the foundation stewarded more than $70 million. Organization and individuals entrusted the foundation with their money as a way to make an impact in the region.
Over that time, contributions have resulted in $37 million in community grants given to local nonprofit organizations. Funds supported programs, services and capital projects in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties.
The foundation's assets currently stand at $47 million.
"We're the endowment builder, building the resources of our community to be here forever," said Phil Ellis, executive director of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation. "For us, we recognize in our 20th year it's not about us but how we can be a resource for donors."
Twenty years is a relatively short amount of time for a community foundation; a similar foundation in Grand Rapids just celebrated 90 years. In the context of successful and enduring community foundations — there are more than 700 nationally and internationally — the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation's board is planning for the next five, 20, 50 years.
A long-term perspective both reflects and honors the legacies created by donor funds.
Some large impact projects over the years include the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA capital campaign, Thirlby Field and the National Writer's Series. The power of many is leveraged thanks to the Community Foundation.
"(T)he ACE Fund started with just one donor and there have been 750 donors since then," said Ellis of a fund that supports Traverse City Area Public Schools. "We can all be philanthropists."
The board awarded more than $410,000 in December, the latest grant cycle, including $180,000 given as part of its competitive fall grant cycle. Recent awards boost the total for 2012 to $1.7 million granted.
A new Bethany Christian Services program received a competitive grant of $4,000 from the Campbell Endowment for a new Safe Families for Children program, a program that also received a regional impact grant of $5,000 from the foundation's Youth Advisory Council.
The grant allows Bethany to launch an initiative that provides support and a temporary home for children whose families are experiencing a temporary crisis.
"It's really a blessing," said Craig Bultsma, executive branch director of Bethany Christian Services. "It enables us to reach out into the community and help families in need."
The Foundation's roots are linked with Rotary Charities, whose board of directors provided support and leadership in 1992 to establish the foundation.
A W.K. Kellogg Foundation matching grant helped boost the nascent fund. The resulting $4 million raised sparked a match of $2 million from Kellogg for a Youth Endowment.
"They created us to become a resource that others could come to," Ellis said.
The foundation hosts approximately 280 funds that support arts and culture, the environment, youth and education. Community enrichment funds are geared to help with health and human services, seniors, food programs and housing. Approximately 15 to 20 new funds are created each year.
The Foundation distributes about $2 million each year and one of the region's largest grantmakers. More than half the money disbursed is earmarked for community enrichment.
One component is that members of a Youth Advisory Council, teens in high school, get to decide how to distribute $67,500 from the Youth Endowment. The 60 members of this year's council are high school students from the foundation's five-county area. Young grantmakers learn the basics of philanthropy and grantmaking, review applications and select programs to recommend for funding.
"It's a unique way to serve my community," said Lauren Murray, a senior at Traverse City Central High School. "You can think about the impact of these grants and you know exactly what it's going to do."
For more information on Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, call 935-4066 or see www.gtrcf.org
TRAVERSE CITY — By Carol South
Calcutt charges still pending
Civil charges against Northwestern Bank’s former president, CEO and board chairman for dishonesty and unsafe banking practices remain unresolved, six months after federal regulators attempted to ban him from banking and levy a $125,000 fine.Continued ...
Retired vascular surgeon, inventor calls Northport home
The culmination of seven years of toil rest inside the worn white and green envelope that arrived in Arne Landé’s mailbox in January.Continued ...
Temps 'falling back into the teens'
Yesterday’s 40-degree weather will seem far, far away as temperatures fall to about 12 degrees by 11 a.m. today.Continued ...
Water lines can still freeze
Frozen water lines continue to plague area residents, despite a brief warming trend.Continued ...
Man injured in Kingsley fire
A Kingsley man suffered severe smoke inhalation in a fire that engulfed his mobile home.Continued ...
Kalkaska schools narrows superintendent search
Kalkaska Public Schools could have a new superintendent lined up by month’s end.Continued ...
Kalkaska superintendent interviews
The first round of interviews for the new superintendent of Kalkaska Public Schools will take place over three days.Continued ...
Benzie Bus will have new director
The Benzie Transportation Authority Board of Directors will meet today at 9:30 a.m. to discuss a possible contract for a new Benzie Bus executive director.Continued ...
Five NMC faculty recognized for excellence in higher ed
Five Northwestern Michigan College instructors received 2014 Excellence Awards from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development for their teaching and leadership excellence in higher education.Continued ...
- Tuesday, March 11, 2014
UPDATE: Northwestern, Chemical banks merge
The Grand Traverse region’s burgeoning economy sparked the proposed merger of Northwestern and Chemical banks in a deal that will cause layoffs.Continued ...
Northwestern Bank reaches sale agreement
TRAVERSE CITY - Northwestern Bank will be purchased by Midland-based Chemical Bank for $120 million cash, the financial institutions said.Continued ...
Quartet crosses ice to N. Manitou
A moment of pure terror surged through Tom Bisbee when the ice cracked beneath his feet. The cold came next as he plunged into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan nearly 1.5 miles from the nearest piece of dry land.Continued ...
Hearing planned for Garfield theater complex
The public will have a chance to comment on one of the area’s largest post-recession development projects.Continued ...
3 injured in separate crashes
A Mayfield man remains hospitalized after a snowmobile crashed into a shore station at a frozen southern Michigan lake.Continued ...
Kingsley oil well erupts in flames
A mechanical problem likely sparked a spectacular eruption of flames from an oil and natural gas well near Kingsley, a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality official said.Continued ...
Attic fire damages East Bay Township home
A fire destroyed most of an East Bay Township home’s roof before firefighters extinguished the blaze.Continued ...
Rec authority seeks facility manager
The joint recreational authority of Traverse City and Garfield Township won’t wait for a $650,000 makeover of the Cathedra Barn to start planning events.Continued ...
- Monday, March 10, 2014
Sheriff: GPS led Canadian duo astray
A craving for milkshakes and faulty GPS directions turned a young Canadian duo's late night quest to find a McDonald's restaurant into an overnight misadventure along a Kalkaska back road.Continued ...
Inuit art collectors make the trip
To say Ann Conway loves Inuit art is an understatement. Every available space in her Traverse area townhouse is covered with intricately carved figurines.Continued ...
Winner dedicated to social work, ed.
This year's recipient of the Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award was so shocked to be selected by the Traverse City Human Rights Commission that she called back the chairwoman two days later to make sure she'd correctly heard the news.Continued ...
Frat takes to road for MS
Quentin Callahan slumped in the corner of a booth at Mackinac Brewing, eyes closed, hood over his head.Continued ...
- Sunday, March 9, 2014
Zoning question to delay decision
A decision whether to use a city-owned warehouse for an emergency homeless shelter likely will extend into summer as city planners devise a new zoning ordinance.Continued ...
Heroin floods court docket
Another day, another heroin case. Illegal drugs inundated Grand Traverse County’s court docket last week.Continued ...
Taxes paid, code violations still remain
A downstate bank paid Sugar Loaf Resort’s outstanding taxes, but whomever owns the property needs to address a slew of building code violations before any major changes can occur at the long-shuttered Leelanau County winter retreat.Continued ...
Judge sides with township in Kasson gravel case
A local judge ruled against a landowner who challenged Kasson Township zoning rules because she wanted to mine gravel on her Leelanau County property.Continued ...
- Calcutt charges still pending